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Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Hoponius UnionHoponius Union

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

323 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 323
Hads: 2,340
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 6.86%
Wants: 349
Gots: 401 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mschofield on 08-07-2011

This lager harmoniously combines lager yeast fermentation and west coast IPA hops. Our India style Pale Lager is like a traditional IPA but with a twist - it’s fermented cold and aged for extended periods. A blend of classic American hops creates a huge tropical fruit and citrusy hop aroma. A dry finish accentuates the pleasant bitterness and hop profile. Hoponius Union uses locally grown dehulled spelt from MA.

65 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 323 | Hads: 2,340
Photo of Lambocalrisien
4.91/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a crisp, dark but see-through golden color with a nice two finger white head and leaves good lacing.

S - Amazing and very unexpected. Nose fills instantly with pleasant floral and citrus hop aromas.

T - Holy HOPS, this thing is wicked hoppy, in the best of ways. Grapefruit and mango up front with a subtle pine on the back end. Finishes dry but with a crisp clean feel. Excellent balance of flavors and bitterness.

M - Smooth with a light-medium body and close to perfect carbonation. Goes down really easy.

O - The best IPL on the market. Great beer and a must try for all beer lovers. Excellent job Jack's Abby. (665 characters)

Photo of JohnG190
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Boston_Steve for the trade! Pours a golden amber with fluffy white head that dissipates quickly. Nice lacing. Aroma is all about hops - floral, citrus, pine, some grassiness - a very nice smelling beer. Taste follows nose, bitter throughout but nicely balanced by sweet malt backbone. A very quaffable beer. Smooth, with a light-medium body and effervescent carbonation. Overall a well crafted lager. I've only had one other IPL, that from Boston Beer Company, and I do like the style! An IPA(L) that one can serve cold, I'll be looking for these come summer! (570 characters)

Photo of mnrider
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Hazy dark golden color. Nice large white head. Lacing is good and sticky.

S: Herbal hops. Grass. More Hops. Malts are biscuity. Some tropical flavors pop up.

T/M: Bitter hops but smooth. Tropical and herbal. Bitter again. The malts are pretty strong and lager like. Medium bodied. The finish is a little dry with a linger of bitter hops.

O: Outstanding! Love the mixture of IPA hops and Lager malts. Easy to drink. Great entry from Jack's Abby.

Cheers!!! (463 characters)

Photo of stella77artois
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle poured into wine glass.

A - Pours a yellow amber, with a 1" head. A fair amount of carbonation noted, as well as a slight haze.

S - Lot's of bitter hops up front, and a bit of dankness. Earthy smells from the hops, as well as a good amount of grapefruit. Also a tiny bit of yeast. Nice smelling beer, just wish I could detect a bit more of the fruity notes advertised.

T - Probably the most interesting American Pale Lager I've ever had. Essentially because this beer is an IPA with lager yeast. Lot's of hops up front - dirt/earthy notes, very bitter in a pleasant way. Also noted grapefruit and a bitter flowery taste. Unlike their 2nd Anniversary Lager, which is very hoppy yep clean and crisp like a lager, this beer wasn't so crisp. Very much IPA. Not a bad thing in any means!

F - Dry finish. Lot's of carbonation which I liked. Very prickly on the tongue and throat. Again, not crisp like a lager. This is very IPA-like to me.

O - A very good beer. I just didn't find any lager qualities. I absolutely love Jack Abby's 2nd Anniversary Lager, as it combines lots and lots of quality hops with the clean and crisp finish of a lager. This tastes more like an IPA to me. A very good one actually. Great tasting beer which I will certainly try again, but I was disappointed in not finding that lager crispness. Still highly recommended. (1,358 characters)

Photo of sleuthdog
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into GI tulip stem

Pour: Honey orange color and cloudy look. The head was a solid 2 fingers of fluffy, soft looking white with both some small and medium bubbles within. The lacing left behind is something to behold as it clings to the glass from the top to the surface of the beer. A sparse soft pillow is left on the surface.

Smell: If I didn't read the label of this beer as being a Pale Lager I would have said this is a great smelling IPA or pale ale with big hops. A big hop forward smelling beer with pine, grapefruit and some grassy notes. Upon subsequent sniffs I get some more of the citrus with orange and pineapple.

Taste: A fairly bitter forward beer with an astringent quality but in a good way. There is an initial hit of bready notes but that is quite fleeting as the hoppy bitterness takes hold right away. Grapefruit rind with big pine taste and bitterness throughout. The finish is very bitter and dry and the burps are even bitter.

Mouthfeel: Light body and very drinkable even with the high level of bitterness. A bit thin but that is only because I am comparing this to an IPA and I have to continue to remind myself that this is not and IPA. Crisp and refreshing and would make one hell of a hot summer beer.

Overall: Really enjoyed this beer and would love to be able to get some of this to enjoy on a hot, humid summer day here in Chicago. (1,390 characters)

Photo of ExtraStout
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. poured into a pint tumbler. Big creamy 1 finger head, lots of lacing, crystal clear pale yellow golden color. Nose had fresh hops, resins, hops oils, bit musty, some fresh citrus fruit and grapefruit, almost no lager or malts.

Taste explodes with fresh citrus hops, grapefruit and tropical fruits, light hop resins and musty fresh hop oils, a bit oily, then some light lager fruits and light pale malts, some sweet toasty malts. Light sweet honey like flavor. The it gets very bitter and slightly astringent, the hops way overpower the lager flavors and gets a bit overly on the finish, dry and very bitter finish with lingering fresh hops and citrus, light pine as well, and has a sticky almost creamy feel.

I'm an IPA guy, not a Lager guy, but bumping the IBU's to 65 seemed to work real well. I would choose this over many standard IPA's out there. (860 characters)

Photo of alaimoa
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured fresh from brewey and cold into a glass. Golden with semi rushing bubbles a spotty off white legs. Smell strong citrus and floral accented by a bit if earthiness. Taste and feel impressive at first getting a pleasant grapefruit and line leading into a the lager profile which is a bit hard to explain but almost a toasted bread which probably is the yeast or spelt? Overall feel, depth are outstanding with a unique flavor profile. Welcome change from the regular apa/IPA (485 characters)

Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Golden body with a fluffy white head. Good retention. Really nice appearance.

Lots of grassy and citrusy hops in the aroma. Smells really fresh and well dry hopped. I feel like I'm picking out a lot Cascade maybe.

Taste is moderately bitter for an IPA-like beer. Good balance between hop flavor and bitterness and a very well attenuated but has a lightly sweet malt backbone. The lagering leaves the beer very crisp and refreshing. Grapefruit pith and grassy hops are prominent.

Not an overly hoppy beer for what it's supposed to be. My rating is sort of a balance between rating it a hoppy lager and an IPA, I guess. It's really an IPA at heart. I doubt many people would think it was a lager if they didn't know. It came out pretty rad. If rated like an IPA, I think I would have to say it's missing that extra level of depth in hop flavor that the big West Coast style ones have. Nevertheless, I will be filling up my growler every time I hit up the Natick mall for some fresh kicks. (989 characters)

Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Has color more characteristic of an APA or IPA. Pours an orange-amber with a frothy white head. Smell is very muted to my nose, but then again that's the irony with IPLs as the coldet serving temp kinda defeats the purpose. Gains a nice fleshy mango aroma as it warms Grassy, citrusy, resiny hop taste. Gtapefruit, jackfruit, bitter melon, passionfruit. Definitely had a crisp, dry feel that accentuates citrus florals than any tropical sweetness. (451 characters)

Photo of CTbrew32
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Just another great beer from Jack's Abbey. Aroma starts off with a big burst of citrus and slight caramel malt presence. The taste starts off with a bright citrus flavor, but then transitions to a more pungent tropical fruit taste such as mango most notably. Not alot of bitterness on this at all, and sweet caramel malt rounds things out. The drinkability and taste is superior to the slew of session ipas that have come out recently. This is a must try beer and as a full strength IPL I personally feel this is a much better alternative to most session ipas. (93/100) (570 characters)

Photo of seanwhite
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Every once in a while you pick a beer off a list with no idea what to expect. This was one of those times and boy did it pay off well. I had never heard of or tried an India Pale Lager, but I was intrigued.

A: Pours a clear gold with soft pillowy head.
S: Huge hop aromas - citrus, tropical fruits, apricot, resin running the show.

T: Stiff malt backbone. Beautifully balanced, crisp, drinkable. Very similar to an IPA in taste but actually a lager. Flavor follows- solid hop profile showing lots of citrus and pine notes.

M: Mild bitterness throughout. Body has enough weight to carry the hops without lending too much sweetness.

Very good beer, an entirely worthwhile east-cost hoppy brew. (700 characters)

Photo of Dools9
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a pilsner glass. Four pack says bottled on Aug. 28 2012 on side. Reviewed Sept. 21 2012. About 24 days old.

A: Slightly hazy, golden orange, nice three finger frothy white head. Lots of carbonation streaming up. Excellent retention and the lacing is just amazing.

S: Blend of pine, fresh grapefruit peel and bitter lemon and orange rind. There's also some slight earth and bready, pale malt hiding in the back. Very nice aroma.

T: Bitter grapefruit and lemon peel combines with light citrusy tropical fruit and a distant bready, biscuity sweetness. Finishes very clean and very dry.

M: Light medium, smooth and very crisp and refreshing, after all it is a lager and its super drinkable especially considering the 6.7% abv. Hops linger with each sip. Wish I had found this over the summer as it would make an excellent warm weather brew.

O: Hot damn, this puts all other lagers to shame. An excellent twist on the style, its like if an IPA bred with a Pale Lager, this would be its super offspring. All you lager haters out there, this will change your mind, I'm most certain. Cheers to Jack's Abby. (1,123 characters)

Photo of DocJitsu
4.56/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, light golden color with an impressive white head. Speaking of impressive, the nose on this lager is a big surprise. Grapefruit and pine a plenty. A nice medium-bodied mouthfeel that has adequate carbonation and dryness at the finish paves the way for grapefruit, pine, and floral flavors make this extremely drinkable lager very tasty. (350 characters)

Photo of illpass78
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%

400 ml (13.5 oz) on draft, served in a mason jar, at Sweet Cheeks in Boston.

Appearance: Pours a very slightly cloudy straw yellow with a one-finger white head that displays good retention. Nice lacing on the way down.

Aroma: This beer smells of grapefruit, lemon, pine, grass, hops and some faint bonus citrus. Inviting and fairly complex.

Mouthfeel: Nice balance. Perfect body for the style.

Taste: This beer hits you with a big, bold grapefruit flavor up front and finishes with dry, bitter hops. I like this a lot. It strikes me as an IPA/lager hybrid. Good stuff. The grassiness and lemon bite are in there, too. A fine beer.

Overall: This is one of those beers I got tired of hearing about and tried in part so I could say the hype is wrong. Well, I failed. This is a really excellent beer - one to seek out, worth sipping and enjoying, but also the right balance for cookouts and outdoor goings-on. (910 characters)

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours with about a fingers worth of head, the beer itself is slightly hazy and opaque and a distinct yellow color.

The nose is very malty-biscuity. The hop aroma is faily muted, there is some slight hop spiciness up front, but it is very subdued.

The taste is fairly malty up front and this fades to a quite back-of-palate hop bitterness. This bitterness lingers for quite awhile.

This is a pretty interesting beer. It has some good hop bitterness but doesn't have much going on in the hop aromatics department, most of the hop notes here are from bitterness (lots of kettle hops).

This is a pretty decent beer, I don't have much experience with craft lagers but this is pretty tasty. That said, I definitely prefer ales to Lagers. (745 characters)

Photo of lucas1801
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great looking clear yellw/light amber. This beer is probably miscategorized on here as this is an IPA that happens to be brewed with a lager yeast.

A: Pours a nice two finger head that lingers and eventually settles into some great lacing.

S: Nice hoppy nose, pine and citrus are dominant.

T: Very well done beer; hop flavors match the nose, malt is light and clean as expected being fermented with a lager yeast.

M: Dry as it should be which allows the hops to shine, as this is supposed to be more like an IPA than anything else.

O: great beer from a great brewery, worth a buy for sure. (594 characters)

Photo of MusicaleMike
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

OK, well this is clearly not an American Pale Lager, but I guess we all know that. I also know that India Pale Lager is not a recognized "style" quite yet, but will review the beer with that intention in mind. I am sure the brewer would probably put this more towards the IPA category than the APL category.

Served in a pilsner glass. Bright golden body. Very nice head formation! Really solid and consistent bubbles, all the same size. Very good retention. Pretty amazing and even though this is my first "IPL" I could say with some confidence that this beer has a really outstanding appearance. It fails to garner a 5 though for the hazy body.

Aroma is quite similar to a true west-coast IPA. Bready malt lay underneath a blanket of citrus hops with notes of honeysuckle and candied oranges.

Up front, there is a big, impressive flavor of blood orange with a nice, spicy mid-palate, and a bit of doughy malt in the finish. The beer has a moderate body with plenty of solid carbonation throughout the glass. Carbonation is spot on, and right where I would want it for a "lager/IPA" hybrid. There is a longer, residual bitterness as well.

OK, it's hard to really determine what I feel about this beer in relation to any others of its kind, but I will say that my first impression is that this is a very solid beer that carries the torch well in the IPA category. There isn't much that I would consider "delicate" about this beer, and so any of the qualities I would be looking for in a pale lager are essentially hidden. That said, I enjoyed this beer and would certainly try it again. (1,590 characters)

Photo of dubinsky
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a Deschutes tulip glass. Thanks to Stearns16 for including this as an extra.

A - Pours a clear golden honey orange with a huge foamy white head. The head receded quickly but left some serious lacing behind. Like a snail sliding down the sides of the glass. Some serious retention going on.

S – Pale Lager? WTH is that? This smells like an IPA or super hoppy pale ale. In fact this really reminds me of what Row 2, Hill 56 smells like. Huge wafts of pine and grapefruit dominate the nose, along with a floral/grassy finish. Some biscuit malts are present, but this is mostly a hop forward beer.

T – Nice and bitter. Much less malts than I expected. Very astringent with grapefruit pith, pulp and rinds. Some grassy elements are also evident. There is a slight malty finish, but this is dominated by bitterness and finishes dry and bitter.

M – Medium Body with medium-high carbonation. Nice dry finish. Very crisp and clean. If Pliny and Prima Pils had a love child, this would be it. hops. Citrus, pine, grass, and some lemon. Then comes a cleaning wave of grainy malts. Quick finish with just a light lingering bitterness. Drinkability is incredibly high on this beer. Crisp and well carbonated.

O – This is a great beer, and I completely understand the Hype. My only gripe is that a lager shouldn’t be so high in ABV. When I chose to drink a lager or pilsner I do it usually to not have such a high ABV beer. Notwithstanding that, this is a great beer and is incredibly drinkable. (1,521 characters)

Photo of Rizalini
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this .5 litre bottle in a trade from Jageraholic, dated 02.25.2013, and poured into my Deschutes tulip glass...

A - Pours a crystal clear golden orange color. 2 fingers of off-white head fade rather quickly leaving some nice spotty lacing behind.

S - The smell is amazingly hoppy! Hops smell of tropical fruits like pineapple, and some earthiness. Very inviting.

T/M - The taste has a nice hoppiness in the beginning, a crisp malt middle, and a great hop resin aftertaste. Getting more of the tropical fruits as well in the aftertatse. The mouthfeel is light/medium. Crisp like a good lager, and good carbonation.

O - This is a great IPA/lager combination! If I did a blind taste, I would call this an IPA. The only thing preventing this from being DIPA status is the lighter mouthfeel and alcohol content. A really solid beer that I had my doubts about, but was proven wrong very quickly. I would grab this one all day long if it was available in my area, but sadly it's not. So a big thanks to Jageraholic for letting me expierence this great brew! Great extra, cheers to you my friend! (1,096 characters)

Photo of Sailracer
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale yellow in color. Has a hint of hop/citrus aroma. This beer has a nice balance of maltiness, bitterness and aroma hops. The citrus hop flavor is fairly prominent relative to typical IPAs, which I like very much. The light carbonation made this smooth and easy to drink. Very good, overall. (293 characters)

Photo of fscottkey
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: Clear light amber color. I got a 1 finger head of white bubbles. The head leaves decent lacing on the sides. The bottle has a easy to read manufactured date 6/16/14. It also lists the IBUs 65 and ABV 6.7%. I love when it is easy to find and read.

S: Some sweet smells along with the piney presence of hops.

T: The taste confuses my brain. It is simultaneously bitter and sweet at the front. I keep taking sips and keep getting that result. There is a taste of mild citrus zest and spiciness. The hops are on the finish making it somewhat dry.

M: Slightly dry and moderately carbonated.

O: This is an interesting twist on a lager or IPA. The sweetness helps balance the hops - but they are still there to enrich the experience. There is no sense of alcohol at all. This is an enjoyable beer and I will seek out more from Jack's Abbey. (843 characters)

Photo of founddrama
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

LOOK: Very much a golden yellow, but much lighter/paler than the ales I'm accustomed to. Lots of bubbles, not much head. Very clarified. (However: a more vigorous pour on the second one gives a much bigger, foamier head with good retention.)

SMELL: Gentle pour: almost no aroma until you get in close and then it's hoppy as hell. Vigorous pour: floral hop aromas big time.

TASTE: Smooth and crisp with a big hop profile. Mildly astringent finish, but the hops echo through after that. (Toward the end of the glass, seems to get a bit of a buttery off-flavor?)

FEEL: Lighter than I expected.

C/w/ other IPLs? Better than Dream Machine (by a bit), not doesn't touch Fathom (still my favorite of the style).

#MensJournal100Best2014 (733 characters)

Photo of MartzMimic
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours from the bottle a clear amber with a finger of white head. Nice aroma of tropical fruits, pine and malt. You get the malt first, but then there's a nice transition to the citrusy hops. The bitterness lingers without being overpowering. Medium mouth and very smooth. This is a great IPL. Much better than SN's Hoppy Beer Camp. (331 characters)

Photo of datalager
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Wow, I'm really digging the beer! Drinking it right now. I'd say it reminds me of a top level IPA with a smoother finish. There is a ton of circus and pine hop aroma, plenty of bite, and a lingering aftertaste. But the mouthfeel and swallow is decidedly more oily than dry. There are also notes of nuttiness and herb (oregano...rosemary???) in the whiff as it warms. This is a super dynamic beer. There is one other really hoppy lager that I have had (Stoudt's Smooth Hoperator, also quite good), and I think the "lager" quality of this style has it's place in a world of IPAs.

At any rate, call this beer world class, because that is what it is. (648 characters)

Photo of hagbergl
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Bottled in mid-November–perfect timing for Thanksgiving drinking.

Appearance: Towering pillowy white head atop a clear orange-yellow body. Tons of soapy lacing and serious head retention.

Smell: Candied orange, light grapefruit and some toasted bready graininess that conjures in your mind the smell of a German lager (like a Helles) that's just been hopped way up. Solid smelling beer, though certainly more muted than an ale. (As an IPA lover I do miss that piney dankness that wafts up from the freshly opened bottle. I'm not getting that here.)

Taste: Tons of crisp smooth candied orange and pink grapefruit, kiwi and pineapple in the flavor. Not as aggressive as an IPA in its hop attack but still delivers lots of hop flavor. Malt is there and more noticeable than in a regular IPA, but firmly in a supporting, minimalistic role. Very dry finish accentuates the hops and brings on the bitterness in the finish. One thing I will say about the beer is that it doesn't warm that well and loses a bit of crispness in the flavor and mouthfeel (as if the carbonation dissipated).

Mouthfeel: Clean and smooth mouthfeel with a decent medium carbonation (I do feel that the beer could have a slight bump in carbonation level). I love the dry finish, which really helps the hop flavors pop towards the end. (1,313 characters)

Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.